Gulf bourses extended losses on Monday ahead of the corporate earnings season and as fears over a China slowdown set the tone for risk-averse trading.
Asian shares sank to their lowest in over four years because of mounting doubts about Beijing’s ability to manage the world’s second-biggest economy.
China stocks closed down at their lowest since September, following weak inflation data over the weekend and continuing investor anxiety over the economy and the trajectory of the yuan.
Worries over a slowdown in Beijing soured Gulf market sentiment. Dubai’s bourse slid 1.1 per cent as initial gains fizzled out. Emaar Properties fell 2.3 per cent.
Arabtec bucked the downbeat mood, rising 3.5 per cent after Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties awarded the builder a Dh2 billion contract to construct 1,017 luxury villas in the capital.
Aldar rose 0.5 per cent, helping Abu Dhabi’s exchange advance 0.1 per cent. Blue-chip lenders were the UAE capital’s main support, with First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank climbing 0.4 and 1.6 per cent respectively.
Regional and international investors remained cautious ahead of earnings season and this wariness kept volumes modest.
“Fund managers will not be willing to take long positions in the market and commit until all the noise from the panic sell-off is cleared,” said a Dubai-based fund manager.
In Qatar, the Doha benchmark retreated 0.5 per cent, heading towards a third straight decline.
Losers outnumbered gainers 12 to 1 with property and bank stocks dragging the index lower. Mazaya Qatar Real Estate Development and Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan each fell more than 1 per cent.
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